Woman choked by estranged husband while driving to work | Crime
Tampa, Florida -- People living along Paris Street woke up Wednesday morning to the sound of a freakish car crash.
"I heard a screeching sound and then boom, boom, boom," described resident Tommy Todd.
A Nissan Altima had gone airborne and landed near the house across the street from Todd. The car flipped completely over and cleared a fence before landing again on its wheels.
"It flew over the fence; otherwise it would have been completely knocked down," said Miriam Morera, who drove by with a friend to view the crash site.
But if the accident itself was bizarre, the story behind it -- even more so.
The Hillsborough Sheriff's Office says the driver, 36-year-old Tania Martinez was surprised by her estranged husband who was hiding in the back seat.
"Somewhere along the way to work, he swung a rope right over the head rest and tried to strangle her," said Sheriff's spokesperson Cristal Bermudez Nunez. "At the time, her first instinct was to grab the rope obviously. She lost control of the vehicle."
People living near the crash site heard Martinez screaming in Spanish. Even after the crash, investigators say her husband, Alexis Testa-Yero, continued to try and choke her.
Testa-Yero was last seen by residents running down the street and there is a warrant out for his arrest on aggravated battery charges.
Bermudez Nunez says the couple had an argument several days ago and that Testa-Yero had been living in his truck. As for Martinez, she is recovering from the attack and crash, but shaken emotionally.
"She's doing okay," said Bermudez Nunez, "But obviously fearful because her attacker is still out there."